Welcome to our first Wildcrafting Wednesday post! These posts are to highlight herbs that are available to wildcraft in New Mexico. As always, it is important to make sure that the areas you harvest from are safe, you have permission, and you are only harvesting up to 20% of the population or plant in any given area.
Marrubium vulgare, commonly referred to as horehound, is a timeless herb that has been used by many cultures. You can find it in old fashion cough remedies, from cough syrup to cough drops and works well in cold and flu tea blends. Michael Moore refers to this herb as an “old a revered bitter expectorant”, as it is excellent to expel mucus from the lungs for colds and flu, but also works to increase digestive juices within the stomach lining.
In the wild you can find this herb in disturbed areas, and poor, dry, sandier soils all throughout the northwest up in Canada down to the southern parts of California, to northern parts of Texas.
Distinguished by its square stem and whorls that last through the winter, this plant is part of the mint family and spreads by not only seed but by rhyzomes.
This plant can be easily identified by finding a dried stem, in which the seedball “whorls” are still intact spaced throughout the nodes. The entire plant is covered by downy white hairs that give a “fuzzy” effect. Best time to harvest is summer through early fall, and in some areas can be harvested year round. You can harvest and use the entire plant, cutting just above the root, bundle and hang to dry in a dark dry room.